2022-2023 General Celtics thread

Cellar-Door

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The Marcus v. DW & MB is an interesting thought exercise, but if we're being honest here who among us, Joe Mazulla, Brad, or anyone else is going to tell Marcus F'N Smart that he's sitting in crunch-time? If the dude has two functional legs he's going to be in every single crunch-time scenario from now until they win the championship or get knocked out.
I mean.... that's their job if he's not the best guy. And if he's not willing to sit down for a better player you should trade him.

If Marcus wants to play in crunch time he should try rebounding the ball more than three of every 100 possessions.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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If Marcus wants to play in crunch time he should try rebounding the ball more than three of every 100 possessions.
Wondering out loud if Marcus's poor rebounding numbers are due to him getting switched on to bigs a lot and focusing on preventing the big he is guarding from getting the rebound.

After all, my eyes tell me that Marcus is one of the better Cs at boxing out so not sure why he would be a poor rebounder.
 

Cellar-Door

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Wondering out loud if Marcus's poor rebounding numbers are due to him getting switched on to bigs a lot and focusing on preventing the big he is guarding from getting the rebound.

After all, my eyes tell me that Marcus is one of the better Cs at boxing out so not sure why he would be a poor rebounder.
I don't buy any explanation other than he doesn't crash the boards hard except in rare cases he wants to. The occasional switch hurting him... sure. But he's literally one of the single worst rebounders in the league, tied for 10th worst of 193 qualifiers in defensive rebounding, a guy with his size and athleticism isn't that low unless he's just not going for rebounds. Especially since White and even Pritchard are above him.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't buy any explanation other than he doesn't crash the boards hard except in rare cases he wants to. The occasional switch hurting him... sure. But he's literally one of the single worst rebounders in the league, tied for 10th worst of 193 qualifiers in defensive rebounding, a guy with his size and athleticism isn't that low unless he's just not going for rebounds. Especially since White and even Pritchard are above him.
I don't think what you two are saying is in opposition. You're right that Marcus must simply not be trying for rebounds. Wade posited one reason (he is only trying to box guys out, not grab). I'd be interested in other theories. Is he focused on trying to set up transition or secondary transition? Is he staking out the 3PT line on defense too much? Is Joe ok with whatever Marcus is doing instead of rebounding, or would he prefer that Marcus spend more energy and focus there?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Wondering out loud if Marcus's poor rebounding numbers are due to him getting switched on to bigs a lot and focusing on preventing the big he is guarding from getting the rebound.

After all, my eyes tell me that Marcus is one of the better Cs at boxing out so not sure why he would be a poor rebounder.
That is exactly what he does. I’ll let everyone else downplay Smart’s presence in the lineup and his impact defensively where he’s switchable 1-5.
 

TripleOT

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On my list of worrying about things that Smart does not do well, rebounding is not near the top of it.

Smart seems to be the player on this team that will make a big play in crunch time. Since Mazzulla doesn’t burn a lot of time outs, maybe he would be wise to do some situational substitutions in crunch time, with Smart playing defense, and Brodgon and White out there to spot up on offense as one of the Jays tries to make a play.
 

Auger34

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Rob Williams is massively important. It’s amazing how much he raises the ceiling and floor of what the Celtics can accomplish. If he’s healthy, they win it all. If he’s not, I think they are below the Bucks.
Assuming JB gets 3rd team NBA, the most important thing on Brad’s list has to be adding a big. I’d like to keep Grant but if him leaving is the difference between adding a Wendell Carter type, I’d drive Grant to the airport.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Whoever they have in at PG should have the ball more in crunch time. And which of Smart/TatumWhite/Brogdon are in late should be a situational thing taking into account the score, the opponent, and what the game needs.

Edit: holy crap that was stupid, thanks @benhogan
 
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lovegtm

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Rob Williams is massively important. It’s amazing how much he raises the ceiling and floor of what the Celtics can accomplish. If he’s healthy, they win it all. If he’s not, I think they are below the Bucks.
Assuming JB gets 3rd team NBA, the most important thing on Brad’s list has to be adding a big. I’d like to keep Grant but if him leaving is the difference between adding a Wendell Carter type, I’d drive Grant to the airport.
I like that they're settling on an identity with Rob back that doesn't require 30 mins/night from him. Commit to playing 1 center (except in some crunchtime situations), which lets both Al and Rob play harder. Also gets White more time, since they've clearly decided that he's really good.
 

benhogan

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Whoever they have in at PG should have the ball more in crunch time. And which of Smart/Tatum/Brogdon are in late should be a situational thing taking into account the score, the opponent, and what the game needs.
I'd add Derrick White to those 3. I want the ball in his hands initiating the offense late/tight.

He's good at getting into the lane with the ball, has a decent floater, 38% on 3s, 88% on FTs, & a 4 asst/1.1 turnover ratio.

Plus DW scrambles back on D when he misses a layup, while players like Tatum, Brown, and Smart go into theatrics with the refs and give up transitional advantages. It's been happening all season and is now an ingrained habit of those 3.
 

Jimbodandy

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I like that they're settling on an identity with Rob back that doesn't require 30 mins/night from him. Commit to playing 1 center (except in some crunchtime situations), which lets both Al and Rob play harder. Also gets White more time, since they've clearly decided that he's really good.
Yep. This didn't dawn on me until last night, but damn if Al getting 30 and TL replacing him for 18 isn't just a fine setup (give or take a couple of mpg). One big, different assortment of options when TL is in. Both are good defensively and help the offense but in different ways. A rotation is forming like Voltron.
 

RorschachsMask

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Over the last 15 games, Jaylen is at 7.2 potential assists per game, up from 6.5 for the season. Tatum is at 10.2 over the same time, up from 8.7 for the season.

For the month of March, Jaylen is averaging 28/6/4 on a 60% TS, and just playing more under control. I was pretty surprised that his on/off for the month is -7.6, obviously really SSS, but still wasn’t expecting that lol.

In March, Tatum is averaging 30/10/5 on a 59% TS, even with the couple of legit stinkers, and an on/off of +2.5.

White is averaging 14/4/5 on a 63% TS in March, with a team best +7.7 on/off. His TS for the season is now over 60%.
 

Auger34

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Over the last 15 games, Jaylen is at 7.2 potential assists per game, up from 6.5 for the season. Tatum is at 10.2 over the same time, up from 8.7 for the season.

For the month of March, Jaylen is averaging 28/6/4 on a 60% TS, and just playing more under control. I was pretty surprised that his on/off for the month is -7.6, obviously really SSS, but still wasn’t expecting that lol.

In March, Tatum is averaging 30/10/5 on a 59% TS, even with the couple of legit stinkers, and an on/off of +2.5.

White is averaging 14/4/5 on a 63% TS in March, with a team best +7.7 on/off. His TS for the season is now over 60%.
@Deathofthebambino, it appears the stats are starting to show what our eyes have been seeing in regards to Jaylen reading the floor.
Scal mentioned it last night on the broadcast but JB is reading defenses and passing much better than he was earlier in the year
 

Auger34

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Yep. This didn't dawn on me until last night, but damn if Al getting 30 and TL replacing him for 18 isn't just a fine setup (give or take a couple of mpg). One big, different assortment of options when TL is in. Both are good defensively and help the offense but in different ways. A rotation is forming like Voltron.
I think in the playoffs, Rob is going to have to be up around 25-30 MPG. He’s such a difference maker when he’s on the floor.
But, to your point, just having him available makes the team more diverse and able to play different styles
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think in the playoffs, Rob is going to have to be up around 25-30 MPG. He’s such a difference maker when he’s on the floor.
But, to your point, just having him available makes the team more diverse and able to play different styles
With the playoff scheduling of having a minimum of 1 day off between games and many times more…..there really isn’t any reason for TL to be able to play 30-32 mpg if he can play at all. It would be quite the stretch to demonstrate why he can play 20 with this playoff scheduling but not 30.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think in the playoffs, Rob is going to have to be up around 25-30 MPG. He’s such a difference maker when he’s on the floor.
But, to your point, just having him available makes the team more diverse and able to play different styles
Different styles is great. Also being able to play 1big. I'm not anti 2bigs per se, but healthy TL and AH are a nice 1 big rotation.
 

128

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If the plan is to both try to finish ahead of the bucks and sixers while also giving him some rest, this is the game for him to sit.
The Bucks are going to be hard to catch, I suspect, but C's are in great position to grab the No. 2 seed.
 
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Euclis20

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The Bucks are going to be hard to catch, I suspect, but the No. 2 seed is the C's to lose.
The Celtics need to beat Milwaukee to get the tiebreaker, then they need to gain two games somewhere else to pass the Bucks. Both teams play Philly, and that's really it for the Celtics difficult games (every remaining C's opponent other than the Bucks and Sixers is under .500, if only barely in some cases). In addition to the Celtics and Sixers, the Bucks also play the Nuggets and Grizzlies - it wouldn't be the most shocking thing in the world if the Bucks were to stumble a bit, but it the 1 seed is definitely theirs to lose.
 

lexrageorge

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Celtics have a 1.5 game lead over Philly, own the tiebreaker, and have an easier schedule. They really shouldn’t be settling for #3 seed.
 

RorschachsMask

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If they don't, it indicates they don't think the #1 seed is that important, particularly relative to maximizing Tatum.
That was my line of thinking, with regards to it. Also, I was looking at lineup data earlier, and some of the numbers are insane.

It’s a really short sample, only 143 possessions, but the lineup of White, Jaylen, Tatum, Al, and Rob has a net rating of +45.1 lol.

The net rating with Tatum off the court is +1.7, which is good enough for me. With Jaylen off the court, it’s +10.0. With White off the court, it’s +0.8.

Jaylen on the court without Tatum, it’s +2.7 in 1395 possessions. Add White to that, and it’s +7.7 over 834 possessions.

Jaylen and Tatum on the court without White? -4.4 net rating over 1,375 possessions. Jaylen on the court without White is -4.3 as well, in almost 2000 possessions.

Tatum without Jaylen is +12.8 in 2039 possessions, add White to that and it’s somehow only +10.3. Tatum and Rob is +13.0.

Tatum and Smart together is +6.7, Jaylen and Smart is +2.2.

Looking at all the numbers, and it’s clear that one of Tatum and White need to always be on the court.
 

benhogan

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That was my line of thinking, with regards to it. Also, I was looking at lineup data earlier, and some of the numbers are insane.

It’s a really short sample, only 143 possessions, but the lineup of White, Jaylen, Tatum, Al, and Rob has a net rating of +45.1 lol.

The net rating with Tatum off the court is +1.7, which is good enough for me. With Jaylen off the court, it’s +10.0. With White off the court, it’s +0.8.

Jaylen on the court without Tatum, it’s +2.7 in 1395 possessions. Add White to that, and it’s +7.7 over 834 possessions.

Jaylen and Tatum on the court without White? -4.4 net rating over 1,375 possessions. Jaylen on the court without White is -4.3 as well, in almost 2000 possessions.

Tatum without Jaylen is +12.8 in 2039 possessions, add White to that and it’s somehow only +10.3. Tatum and Rob is +13.0.

Tatum and Smart together is +6.7, Jaylen and Smart is +2.2.

Looking at all the numbers, and it’s clear that one of Tatum and White need to always be on the court.
I hope Derrick's dad peruses the Cellar, the love for his son is building.

DW needs to be in the closing lineup, if CJM hasn't figured that out by the playoffs, he should get slammed.

https://theathletic.com/4270359/2023/03/03/celtics-derrick-white-analytics-dad/
 
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lovegtm

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Whatever CJM said to the guys at halftime worked. They went from matador defense to lockdown. Super fun half.
They have had that in them on demand for some time now. It's probably too much to ask for it all game against the Spurs in late March, but clamping down in the 3rd lets you put the game away at exactly the right time.
 

chilidawg

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They have had that in them on demand for some time now. It's probably too much to ask for it all game against the Spurs in late March, but clamping down in the 3rd lets you put the game away at exactly the right time.
Yeah, that's exactly what you want to see from a good team. They haven't shown it consistently at all though, so now would be a good time to start doing that.
 

RorschachsMask

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December was such a fluke bad month from deep, though you can see him leaning to the side on his threes at the time, which was what they worked on over the summer.

3PT shooting by month.

44%
46%
24%
37%
41%
40%
 

benhogan

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benhogan

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December was such a fluke bad month from deep, though you can see him leaning to the side on his threes at the time, which was what they worked on over the summer.

3PT shooting by month.

44%
46%
24%
37%
41%
40%
Not a fan of game-to-game +/- but sometimes +41 is just plane insane when Jaylen was the next best at +28

White is just trolling the non-believers at this stage
 

jmcc5400

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the Spurs are rebuilding and one of the worst teams in the league. But Boston destroyed San Antonio. The Celtics handed the Spurs their worst loss of the Gregg Popovich era. That’s not something that can just be brushed off as “Well, the Spurs stink.” To win in this fashion, without Tatum, is notable.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2023/3/27/23658215/rolling-along-with-a-blowout-10-takeaways-from-boston-celtics-san-antonio-spurs
I agree with Smith that yesterday was the most ROB Rob has looked in a long time. People can dismiss the Indiana and San Antonio wins all they want, but the C's have shown a new level of intensity since the Sacramento game and they are beginning to clamp on defense. On his podcast last night, Simmons and Rusillo reiterated the conventional wisdom that Milwaukee is the prohibitive favorite in the East and the Celtics have a "puncher's chance." Whatever. I think the Celtics deliver a message Thursday night (and then probably lose to Utah on Friday).
 

Helmet Head

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I would prefer to never watch any part of that game ever again. It’s a script we have seen all year against some terrible teams and it’s going to cost them the 1 seed. 3s aren’t falling and they exhibit zero effort defensively. The good news is they generally don’t give this type of effort against the better teams, which hopefully is a positive sign for the playoffs.

I have a really hard time seeing them catch Milwaukee at this point given their schedule. Oh well, just hang onto the 2 seed and get ready for the playoffs.
 

gattman

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I would prefer to never watch any part of that game ever again. It’s a script we have seen all year against some terrible teams and it’s going to cost them the 1 seed. 3s aren’t falling and they exhibit zero effort defensively. The good news is they generally don’t give this type of effort against the better teams, which hopefully is a positive sign for the playoffs.

I have a really hard time seeing them catch Milwaukee at this point given their schedule. Oh well, just hang onto the 2 seed and get ready for the playoffs.
Being at the game didn’t make it any more fun. It was a REALLY weird game— Cs couldn’t get a 3 to fall and the Wiz couldn’t miss. And the refs were doggedly not going to call anything.

That being said, it took the Cs way too long to get away from launching 3 after 3 (Smart even passed up a wide open layup to kick out for a semi-contested 3). They simply did not adjust in real time (which is critical in the playoffs, especially against better teams). And the Wiz were able to exploit Al & (shockingly) TL on the interior. Hopefully just an off game for TL (though absolutely brutal, to the point where CJM stapled him to the bench for the better part of the 2nd half). But Al was concerning. Just no lateral quickness. And it was clear from the get go this was the Wiz’s plan— to go right at him. And it worked. Hopefully the Cs adjust accordingly. Or TL remembers that he’s a f’n great defender.
 

kazuneko

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This game was pathetic - and the type of performance that makes it hard to feel excited about this team. This was a crucial game - Scal went as far as to call it "must-win". If they care about the #1 seed (and they apparently do) it would be hard to disagree.
The Wiz were down their best and 3rd best players and the Cs just rolled over and played dead. I get it that the Cs have been remarkably good against the league's best, but it's still disturbing that Mazzulla can't get them to even pretend to play defense on night's like this. The Cs had a legitimate shot of taking the 1 seed and it's all but gone because they couldn't defend against a bad team badly depleted due to injuries. This Washington team - with it's current roster- might be the worst team in the league, and yet it's hard to think that even means much considering that just lost a team in contention for that honor a couple of weeks ago (the Rockets). Maybe this team rises to the occasion in the playoffs, but at this point it's hard to imagine. This team's tendency to shit the bed with regularity in any situation where they have any reason to feel confident doesn't portend well going forward. It feels like the type of team that would allow a number7 seed to win 4 straight after going down 0-3 in the first round...
 
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lovegtm

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This game was pathetic - and the type of performance that makes it hard to feel excited about this team. This was a crucial game - Scal went as far as to call it "must-win". If they care about the #1 seed (and they apparently do) it would be hard to disagree.
The Wiz were down their best and 3rd best players and the Cs just rolled over and played dead. I get it that the Cs have been remarkably good against the league's best, but it's still disturbing that Mazzulla can't get them to even pretend to play defense on night's like this. The Cs had a legitimate shot of taking the 1 seed and it's all but gone because they couldn't defend against a bad team badly depleted due to injuries. This Washington team - with it's current roster- might be the worst team in the league, and yet it's hard to think that even means much considering that just lost a team in contention for that honor a couple of weeks ago (the Rockets). Maybe this team rises to the occasion in the playoffs, but at this point it's hard to imagine. This team's tendency to shit the bed with regularity in any situation where they have any reason to feel confident doesn't portend well going forward. It feels like the type of team that would allow a number7 seed to win 4 straight after going down 0-3 in the first round...
I'm still on team "they'll pull it together against good opponents", but that was a godawful effort.

They may as well have benched the rotation and see whether the deep bench wanted to try on defense.

The only thing I can think is that the starters know AGI will be here before the conference finals, so homecourt won't be relevant.
 

Imbricus

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God, that was an unwatchable game, and this season has had a number of those. It was painful to see clips of Brogdon, Brown and Williams larking around the city, what with the lack of effort the Celtics put out last night. The play that summed it all up for me: they were just standing around on defense, no attempt to box out or move, and let a Wizard grab the rebound and toss it in for an easy layup.

I know I'm in the minority on this, but when the three ball isn't falling -- even when they're getting clean looks -- and they're having success driving the ball, just keep pushing it inside. There are going to be games when the threes don't drop, and you've got to find some way to win other than hope for reversion to the mean. If you're taking the ball to the rack, then at least you're playing physical, might get a foul (well, maybe not last night). Clanging threes just seems to suck the life out of a team. Brown and Tatum showed they could score easy layups on drives last night.

I know, main problem was they were listless on defense, but I wish Celtics had a better Plan B when the three-point shots don't fall other than "Be patient and keep shooting." And Joe needs to take a page from some other NBA coaches: If the starters are going to mail it in, stick their asses on the bench and play the subs for a while. Get some high-energy deep benchers in there.
 

benhogan

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That was possibly their worst defensive effort of the season, considering the competition (no Beal, Kuzma, Gafford)

A combination of:
1. Picking up ball pressure under the 3pt line and letting direct entry of the ball into Porzingas
2. Lackadaisical transition D

Meh, they weirdly never adjusted.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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No free throws in the first half is mind-blowing. There’s just no way that Wiz roster should be able to guard Tatum and Brown (and Brogdon!) without fouling for an entire half of basketball.

If that doesn’t say “half-assed effort” nothing does.

Agreed with above that you can’t post a bunch of photos in pretty suits doing tourist shit and then put up that stinker. Terrible.
 

128

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My brother is a long-suffering fan of the Wizards, but I don't follow them closely. Watching the "highlights" from last nite's game, it strikes me that Kispert is basically Joe Harris 2.0, which is a nice piece for a team, as long as you're not overpaying for him. Kispert is shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range this season.
 

kfoss99

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They've had these terrible games all year. But, now they say they want the 1 Seed. Brown's lobbying for All-NBA. Tatum wants to make First Team All-NBA. And they play one of their worst games. A confusingly bad effort compared to their stated goals.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They've had these terrible games all year. But, now they say they want the 1 Seed. Brown's lobbying for All-NBA. Tatum wants to make First Team All-NBA. And they play one of their worst games. A confusingly bad effort compared to their stated goals.
These guys get mics stuck in their face while being asked about seeding which requires winning games. What else are they supposed to say? It’s all media-speak. They mailed a road game in last night. Denver is trying to hold on to their #1 and lost in San Antonio a week or two ago. Sometimes the more depleted a team is the harder it is to get up for that game.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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These guys get mics stuck in their face while being asked about seeding which requires winning games. What else are they supposed to say? It’s all media-speak. They mailed a road game in last night. Denver is trying to hold on to their #1 and lost in San Antonio a week or two ago. Sometimes the more depleted a team is the harder it is to get up for that game.
And probably looking ahead to tomorrow as well. Same thing happened in OKC with SGA out.